UN Secretary-General Praises Croatia’s Progress

Following his visit to Croatia, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the country’s contribution to the global peace and offered his congratulations on its forthcoming EU accession.Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, who is currently touring the region, met Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic on the northern island of Brijuni on Friday.

Addressing the press conference after the meeting, President Josipovic said he was glad that the UN Secretary-General had recognised Croatia’s peace-making policy in the region.“This policy will be even more important once we enter the EU given that Croatia, as a success story, will be an example to others,” President Josipovic said.

Josipovic described Ban’s tour of the region as “a contribution to the policy of peace and cooperation which we are pursuing”.

Ban Ki-moon praised Croatia’s achievements since it first became a member of the United Nations 20 years ago. In particular, Ban highlighted how Croatia had gone from being host to five different peacekeeping missions, to contributing troops to other UN missions all over the world including Timor-Leste, Haiti, Lebanon and Liberia.

“Croatia has undergone an impressive transformation from a country receiving the international assistance to a country giving assistance to others,” said Ban.

In this context, Josipovic recalled that the highlight of Croatia’s active role in the UN was the country’s non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2008-2009.

He went on to say that his country supported the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to solve the crisis in Syria.

Asked to comment on a statement of Serbian politician and the current General Assembly chairman, Vuk Jeremic, that as long as he is alive he would not allow the admission of Kosovo to the UN, Ban said that the visit to Kosovo was part of a broader tour of the Balkan countries.

“Kosovo’s status is regulated by the UN Security Council’s resolution 1244 and I will have an opportunity to comment on Jeremic’s statement during my visit to Serbia and after my talks with him,” the eighth UN Secretary-General said.

Josipovic added that Croatia’s position on this matter was defined by the fact that Croatia had recognised Kosovo.

“We want good relations with all countries in the region and we are trying to build such relations with Serbia, too. The statement given by Vuk Jeremic is expected, as this is Serbia’s policy towards Kosovo,” the Croatian president said.

Josipovic added that Jeremic’s statement might be viewed as inappropriate in the context of his chairmanship of the UN General Assembly.

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